Lucy P. sent in a link to Baby Bangs, a “HAIR+band accessory combination allows baby girl’s (with little or no hair at all) the opportunity to have a beautifully realistic HAIR style in a SNAP!!” according to the website. Here are before-and-after pics:

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The fact that we’re supposed to see the second photo as clearly cuter than the first makes me sad, actually. The website makes it clear what the purpose of Baby Bangs are: to advertise the fact that “I’m not a boy!” and to make little girls prettier:

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Text:

Baby Bangs! were created for baby girl’s [sic], who have little or no hair, to enhance their natural beauty.

What I find interesting is that this clearly plays into adults’ fears that their little girls will be mistaken for boys if they don’t have enough trappings of femininity. With kids this young, it’s clearly not the children doing the complaining or worrying about their physical appearance (or, for that matter, having any conception that they are girls or boys). It’s fascinating to me that we worry so much that someone might mistake the sex of an infant, and that we’re willing to spend large amounts of money to buy frilly clothes, shoes, and headbands to accentuate the femininity of girls (and camo and athletic clothes for our little manly-men). This is clearly about us adults, not our kids–we’re uncomfortable with gender sameness, and unfortunately for us, babies aren’t clearly identifiable. So we buy things to make a clear boundary for us.

I was a bald-headed baby, and on top of that my mom often dressed me in boys’ clothes when I was little because they were given to me by an older male cousin. When I see early photos of me, in some of them I look like a little boy. This didn’t seem to bother my mom, or at least not enough to ask for hand-me-downs from female cousins, anyway, and I can’t see that it caused any major damage to me, although perhaps you would beg to differ.

NEW (Feb. ’10)! Jessica S. forwarded a link to a Saturday Night Live skit about toupees for baby boys. It mocks the idea, assuming that putting fake hair on male infants is completely ridiculous. It’s an interesting contrast to the product above which is counting on at least some people thinking that fake hair on female infants is cute.

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